UCONN women’s basketball team’s historic winning streak good for sport

Story by Kyle Davis

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A loss can be good. It can keep a team grounded, motivated and hungry for revenge.

The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team must not agree. The Huskies don’t lose. They don’t even get close to losing most of the time. They can’t be bothered with having a number other than zero in the loss column.

UCONN has not lost a basketball game since 2008. It has won 72 games in a row, dating back to its first win of the streak Nov. 16, 2008. The Huskies must not even remember what losing feels like. Although, if they want to find out, all they have to do is look on their schedule and ask any team that has its name printed next to theirs.

And it’s not just the streak itself that is so impressive, it’s how UCONN is winning.

ESPN.com crunched the numbers before UCONN faced Nortre Dame Monday in search of win 71, and the final product is staggering.

The Huskies are averaging wins of 32.8 points per game since the streak began, and have won every game this season by double figures. UCONN hasn’t just been pulling away at the end of the game either, as the Huskies have only been losing in the second half less than 1 percent of the time.

It’s not like UCONN isn’t playing tough teams, it has beaten 21 teams ranked in the top-25 during this streak as of Monday, and has averaged beating those top-25 teams by 26 points. The Huskies faced two more top-10 teams Monday and Tuesday in the Big East Tournament, No. 7 Notre Dame and No. 8 West Virginia, and, no surprise here, they crushed them. West Virginia lost by 28 and ended the game with the Huskies going on a 27-5 run, and it was only the fifth loss of the season for West Virginia.

This team is accomplishing something that is special. With win No. 71, the Huskies broke their own streak of 70 wins stretching from 2001-03. The only number in their way now is 88, which is the amount of consecutive wins by the UCLA men’s basketball team from 1971-74.

The question being asked now is if this streak is good for women’s college basketball?

Yes, it must get old for fans of teams other than the Huskies to see UCONN win in a blowout nearly every game and get all of the attention. However, UCONN’s national attention is good for a sport that otherwise does not receive much attention outside of March.

Viewers who may not otherwise sit down and watch a women’s college basketball game are tuning in to see if and when the Huskies will falter or break the record that has been in place for more than 30 years.

The best thing for the sport now is to see UCONN in the national championship game battling Nebraska, a team also undefeated this season, but much less known. UCONN needs six more wins for another national championship and 16 to tie UCLA’s record.

I wouldn’t bet against the Huskies, but I’ll sure watch.